To submit information about the Department's contribution to the Language Policy and how they attempt to promote the Welsh Language in their work.
To accept the report and note the observations received.
The report was submitted by the department's Senior Business Manager, and in brief, he drew attention to the following main points:
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>It was explained that the department followed a Successive Strategy Framework entitled 'More than Just Words', which set requirements on the department to ensure that care was available for the residents of the County through the medium of Welsh without them having to request this.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>It was reported that one of the department's biggest challenges of late was the recruitment of new staff. This was a national problem, and within the county, some areas experienced more difficulty than others with the recruitment of staff. In addition to this, there were some specific posts, such as Occupational Therapists, that were difficult to fill as specialist skills, as well as Welsh language skills, were needed.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>He elaborated on a very specialised field that the department was involved in, namely Dementia. Further investigations revealed that it was all-important for patients to receive care in the language that they felt most comfortable to use, as this improved their well-being. Subsequently, the department was working to develop Dementia units in supported housing, dementia specialist support staff and new technology to support people who wished to stay in their own homes.
Members of the committee were given an opportunity to ask questions:
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>A member asked whether it was possible to ensure that Welsh-medium care was available for people suffering from Dementia within the private sector.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>Enquiries were made as to whether the department had had to consider advertising for posts where Welsh was not essential in order to attract applicants who had the relevant specialist skills.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>It was enquired whether the department had a process to try and pair-up patients with carers who were able to provide care in accordance with the patient's language choice, particularly bearing in mind that not all patients required care through the medium of Welsh.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>It was asked whether there was an intention to offer care through the medium of Welsh beyond Gwynedd at present, and whether the budget was available in order to provide care effectively.
In response, the Senior Business Manager noted:
That ensuring care through the medium of Welsh to patients within the private sector was very challenging as every patient had the right to choose where they received their care. This was the reason why the department was so eager for the Council to offer and provide care through the medium of Welsh.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>It was confirmed that every effort was being done to pair-up patients with carers who had suitable linguistic skills. This could be challenging at times, particularly when a patient needed urgent care.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>It was noted that there was an intention to develop the out-of-county opportunities of receiving care through the medium of Welsh. It was noted that these opportunities were very restricted at the moment, but Gwynedd led the way to encourage other counties through the 'More than Just Words' forum.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>It was explained that there was an intention to try and attract professional workers, e.g. Social Workers and Therapists who had moved away from the area and returned to Gwynedd to live and work, in order to strengthen the provision in Gwynedd.
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>To accept the report and to note the observations received.